The future of Operating Systems: From the eyes of Roberto Dohnert February 13, 2007Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.
Disclaimer: These opinions are mine, not those of Microsoft and not paid for (Although one of those Laptops would be nice)
Ask any Open Source, Mac or Windows zealot and they all have their own opinion of where the Operating System is going to go. Each will say their favorite OS will rule supreme and the others will die off. Here is my opinion on where each is headed and what I believe will be the future of computing.
Windows Vista clearly shows where Microsoft is going. Its a “Vista” of many types. As impressive as Vista is it still has its faults, it has it problems and its inadequicies. Microsoft has a lot of clout and it has the ability to ship Windows in many forms, from headless devices to cable boxes to embedded devices Windows has many shapes and forms and it used in devices some people have no idea that its there. From the Linux zealot who plays his XBox 360 to the Mac zealot who buys a hammer from Home Depot to the ATM machine he uses to take out the money he uses to buy the latest Mac software title. Even the Windows zealot who buys food from a wide range of restaurants to the gas station he stops at to get his fuel and snacks. Microsoft said Windows Everywhere and they meant it. It still surprises me to this day exactly how much Windows is entrenched in our daily lives. Not just from the desktop and server perspective but in everything we do. As we have seen the lack of competition made Microsoft lazy caused Bill Gates and Co to become a little laid back and that has changed so no one should count Microsoft out. Windows is not dead by any means and the people who claim otherwise really need to get a grip on reality.
Linux is a good OS. Like Windows it has its shortcomings and drawbacks. Even with all the steps forward Linux is still not ready for the general public. There are hundreds or even thousands of Linux distributions but in my opinion only two or three will become popular. In my guess of who the three major will be, Ubuntu, Linspire and SUSE will be the three desktop systems that will get the support from hardware and software developers. In the Linux world the success of the OS and the inability of the Linux community to get along are the drawbacks of the system. If a developer hates the direction the distribution is going they go off and start their own derivative. Linux also is used in many devices, in many shapes of life. From the Windows zealot who lives in Florida goes to Lowes and buys plywood to board up his house during hurricane season, to the Linux guy who goes to Bojangles or KFC to buy his chicken, and stops at a grocery store to get his Jolt Cola to code through the night, even to the Mac guy who goes to Starbucks to get his Quad shot Espresso Macchiato and Starbucks gift card to give to his coworker for a holiday all use Linux in one shape or another. So dont count Linux as having no future.
Mac OS X
As Apple moves to consumer electronics and other markets I personally think OS X’s days are numbered. OS X is great in its own right and is used in education and research but Apple has not found great success outside its own user base. I think Mac OS X will go the way of the BeOS. Apple will continue to use it in their own systems and their own devices but it will never be Linux and it will never be Windows where the average joe can grab a disk and install it on a system of their choice (legally anyways) but it will forever remain a niche OS. Despite all popular reviews and those who think Mac is great the minute you quit buying Apple, OS X cannot follow you.
There is of course one family of OS’s that many ignore. Thats BSD. BSD is shaping up to be a good contender. The future of the Operating System is unlear and I doubt any of OS’s on the market today will be the OS of the future. I dont have a crystal ball so I cant say for sure what the future will bring, but one thing for sure. It will be interesting.